News24

Rwandan army denies troops held in DRC

2012-12-13 07:54

Kigali - The Rwandan army on Wednesday denied that 20 of its troops had been arrested on Democratic Republic of Congo territory ahead of a rebel takeover of the important Congolese city of Goma.

"It is a false allegation," said Rwandan army spokesperson Joseph Nzabamwita.

Nzabamwita said if Rwandan troops had been arrested, they would have been presented to regional officials in Goma who help control the Rwanda-DRC border.

Kinshasa and the UN have accused Kigali of supporting the M23 rebel movement that last month seized the strategic city, and last week a panel of UN experts said Rwanda and Uganda helped the rebels in the offensive.

Rwanda and Uganda deny the allegations.

On Tuesday, DRC government spokesperson Lambert Mende claimed that 20 Rwandan soldiers had been arrested along with 18 presumed Congolese rebels from the M23 fighting group.

M23 rebels swiftly conquered large swathes of the mineral-rich region and briefly took over the main hub of Goma before withdrawing following a diplomatic initiative to pull the region back from the brink of all-out war.